Combine a handful of simple ingredients into fresh Cranberry Orange Muffins to share with the kids come breakfast or snack time…or to serve alongside your favorite chili, soup, or holiday recipe! These work well to make ahead too.
Cranberry Orange Muffins
I’m always ready for cranberry bread come fall, but I find that my kids are usually more game for fun mini muffins than full slices of bread. This easy recipe has loads of fresh flavor, natural sweetness, and a totally moist interior.
These healthy mini muffins have low amounts of added sugar, and get extra fresh flavor from fresh cranberries and orange juice. They also have Vitamin C, protein, and complex carbohydrates to make them a balanced snack or breakfast.
They also pair nicely with cozy dinners like roasted pork or chili—or make a great side for Thanksgiving dinner.
Just like my Cranberry Orange Bread, they have a really tender and moist texture, and a bright fresh flavor.
TIP: We love these muffins on their own, but they’re also great topped with a little butter or cream cheese.
Ingredients You Need
To make this recipe, you’ll need a few pantry staples, as well as fresh fruit. Here’s a look:
- You can use honey instead of maple syrup if that’s what you have on hand.
- You can use all all-purpose flour instead of using the combination.
- Orange juice in a carton can be substituted for freshly squeezed. Just omit the zest.
- To make this with frozen cranberries, break them apart if they are at all stuck together in clumps and remove any large pieces of ice. The recipe should work fine, though the batter may hold together a bit since it will be cold from the cranberries.
- Gluten-free: Use gluten-free 1:1 style of gluten-free flour blend.
- Dairy-free: Use melted coconut oil or canola oil in place of the butter.
Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this recipe. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.
- Add the cranberries to a food processor and grind into smaller pieces. You can fun the processor on low or use the “pulse” button.
- Use a microplane to zest the orange, avoiding any of the white part under the skin (which can be a little bitter). Cut in half and squeeze the juice.
- Stir together all ingredients in a bowl.
- Add batter to a greased mini muffin pan, filling each cup about full. Bake!
TIP: You can sprinkle each muffin with a little extra cinnamon and granulated sugar if you’d like.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can make them ahead of time, though you may want to heat them briefly if serving them from the fridge. Let the muffins cool fully, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
The method has us grinding up the cranberries in the food processor, so you can use frozen ones but you’ll want to make sure they’re not in big clumps for that step. It should work okay though!
How to Store
Store cooled muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight or at room temperature. Warm slightly to serve if you prefer.
Best Tips for Success
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to share!
This post was first published November 2018.
Mini Cranberry Orange Muffins
These mini muffins work best with fresh cranberries.
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp orange zest (optional, but recommended)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled or neutral oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 24-cup mini muffin tin well.
Place the cranberries into the bowl of a food processor. Grind to chop up into smaller pieces.
Add the cranberries to a medium bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir gently to combine.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about full.
Bake for 12-14 minutes for mini muffins or 16-18 for full size, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out cleanly.
Remove from oven and let sit for 2 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool fully. Use a paring knife around the edges to help release the muffins if needed.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm plain, with apple butter, a little butter, or cream cheese, as desired.
- Store cooled muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Gluten-free: To make these muffins gluten-free, use gluten-free cup for cup flour.
- Dairy-free: To make these muffins dairy-free, use melted coconut oil or canola oil.
- Grind the fresh cranberries up to make the pieces more evenly distributed throughout the muffins.
- Use freshly squeezed or bottled orange juice.
- Use maple syrup or honey as the sweetener.
- Stir the ingredients together gently to ensure that you don’t overwork the batter.
- Use all whole wheat flour if you prefer.
- Grease the muffin tin well.
- Use a paring knife around the edges of the muffin pan to help release the baked muffins if needed.
- Allow to cool in the pan for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.
Serving: 2muffinsCalories: 121kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 119mgPotassium: 112mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 140IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 1mg